California’s first case of the South African strain of the coronavirus has been detected in the Bay Area, according to an announcement made by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday.
Gov. Newsom said that the State has the first two reported cases of the South African variant, one in Stanford and the other in Alameda in Santa Clara County.
Newsom was updating the vaccine response of the state in a press conference also to unveil a new vaccination site for the Central Valley.
California County Reports Its First Two South African Variant’s Cases
The local health officials said that the person who contracted the variant in Santa Clara County was recently returned from an international trip with another person in the same household last month.
It was after several days he started to show symptoms. Both of the travelers followed the 10-day mandatory quarantine of the county in their apartment after the travel. During the entire period of their quarantine, one of them was potentially infected with the deadly strain.
The two received the appreciation of Dr. Sara Cody, the Public Health Officer of Santa Clara County since they were delivered the necessary supply of food in time during their quarantine period, and never left the apartment.
Cody said that it is an important example of how the chain of transmission gets broken by public health measures. It is critical because the people, as a community, continue to avoid travel and quarantine upon return.
The other person also became ill and he is yet to get his COVID-19 test but is presumed to have been infected with the virus.
According to Cody, neither of them had any symptoms during their travel period but eventually showed symptoms after they were home and under quarantine.
The case found in Alameda County is still under necessary investigations.
Though many positive cases have emerged in the country every day, only a few of them are sequenced for variants. Cody said perhaps, the concerned variants are already being circulated in the country, but it is not sure to what extent.
An associate professor of Stanford University, Catherine Blish said that the country is lagging with its attempt in sequencing for the mutations.
She said that it is quite difficult to identify the variants since the tests are expensive and time-consuming. She added that there is no surprise that the South African strain reached the U.S also.
The mutation that was first discovered in South Africa is one of the most deadly variants ever detected. It has a change in its spike protein which makes it more contagious and resistant to vaccines.
According to Newsom, as of present, the state is having 159 cases of the U.K strain, and 1,203 cases of both two types of the West Coast variant.